Sunday, November 10, 2013

Step 1: Sell the House

What a whirlwind!  Just as we were coming back from Annapolis and had resigned ourselves to moving back to our house and putting Mom's house up for sale, we got a call from Ben (our agent) that we had an offer on the house.  A few days later we had a deal and a closing date of November 14.

This gave us less than a month to clear out the house, sell a whole crap-load of stuff and get settled into Mom's house where we've been living for the last few months but hadn't really sorted out her stuff from ours.  One friend who came over recently commented that our place was rather like a cottage with a jumble of mismatched furniture.

While we were in Annapolis, on our last evening true to our tradition we found ourselves in Davis' Pub.  The place is a little old neighbourhood pub that probably hasn't changed in 50 years, and on show weekend I imagine it is especially packed.  Tables can be pushed together for a larger group or pulled a scant few inches apart to give the illusion of privacy for a couple - ha!  The benefit of this is that you get to know your neighbours real fast, providing you want to get to know them.  We lucked out and had great folks sitting on either side of us and in particular we struck up a conversation with G & T at the next table who had literally just moved aboard their boat that week and were in the process of selling their house and all their accumulated stuff.

Aha!  now you know where I'm going with this…

They had ended up having an auction to downsize quickly, and as we were weighing up our options (garage sale in November - ugh / auction / rent a storage unit or pod - $$) we kept returning to the little we knew of their experience.  A little online research later and a visit from Corey of Sell My Stuff Ottawa* and we had a date set:  November 3 at our house in Richmond.  Although they take a hefty commission, the deed was done so painlessly that we were pretty impressed.  Sunday morning the cars were lined up down the street, much to the chagrin of our neighbours I'm sure, but I think they got to do a little shopping as well since we heard our BBQ was literally wheeled down the street.

We weren't there during the sale; Corey and his team did all the selling and we had the pleasure of showing up at the end to pick up our proceeds.  Of course not all sold and we still had to move quite a bit of stuff back to our new basement, but it is such a relief to have so much gone.

Next step is Kijiji and then next spring we'll sell as much as we can at the annual Richmond garage sale.

*As an aside on the Sell My Stuff model:  they assess your stuff, take pictures and create an online album, advertise through email, their website and Facebook which gets a ton of people interested including dealers and pickers, they run the sale on the day of, they set and negotiate prices and then they clean up their stuff and leave the house clean and neat at the end of the day.  They charge 35-50% commission depending on the size of the sale (we paid 40%) and then HST on their fee.  Would we use their service again - absolutely!  Especially in the time-crunch we were in.  If we had more time and a better time of year we would have done the garage sale route first, but given the circumstances we are very happy with the outcome.